first_imgJanene Rees (left) and Kelly Elphick (right) Two hard-working and passionate tourism industry workers who went beyond their duty to develop tourism in Port Stephens have received special recognition as part of Port Stephens Tourism’s annual Christmas awards.Both award winners  – Janene Rees and Kelly Elphick – work with dolphin and whale cruise operator, Moonshadow Cruises, which last month received the Gold Award for the best tour operator as part of the NSW Tourism Awards.  Janene Rees won the Robyn Shaw Personal Contribution to Tourism accolade, which is awarded by Port Stephens Tourism every year to a passionate individual who has made a major contribution to the local tourism industry. The award is made in memory of Robyn Shaw, a former local tourism board member who worked tenaciously to build the appeal of Port Stephens.Announcing the award, Port Stephens Tourism Marketing Manager, Tars Bylhouwer, said Janene Rees, as Sales and Business Development Manager for Moonshadow Cruises, deserved recognition for her willingness to go beyond her role to promote tourism in the region. “Janene has participated in many community activities over the years and has attended networking functions arranged by the local tourism organisations and also sits on a number of boards and committees. Janene also spends time working with tourism operators to package products and capitalise on the many opportunities she has created through  media visits, agent familiarisations and visits by international travel companies,” Mr Bylhouwer said.Rebecca Lavis from the Shoal Bay Resort and Spa was also nominated for the award for her voluntary work in pursuing MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) business for Port Stephens.Mr Bylhouwer also announced Kelly Elphick – a cruise director with Moonshadow Cruises, had won Port Stephens Tourism’s annual Tony Burrell Enthusiasm Scholarship Award for individuals who display extraordinary passion and enthusiasm for their work. The award, which carries a $1000 prize, is in memory of Tony Burrell who oversaw the debut of quad bikes on the Port Stephens sand dunes in the 1990s.“Kelly’s professional manner in greeting guests aboard Moonshadow’s vessels is quite simply delightful and she always displays a welcoming smile. Her enthusiasm for the product is a credit to her and her employer. Kelly is a passionate and honourable ambassador for Moonshadow Cruises and also for the broader Port Stephens region,” Mr Bylhouwer said. Leonie Stevens from the Soldiers Point Holiday Park was also nominated for this award for the work she has invested in developing the holiday park. Source = Port Stephens Tourismlast_img